San Francisco to Santa Barbara

Old Jul 24th, 2008, 09:48 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 39
San Francisco to Santa Barbara

We're going to a conference in San Fran and then we're going to stick around and take 3 extra days (Sept. 27th-30th) to drive from San Fran to Santa Barbara. My priorities are Big Sur and wine country. Can we do a fair amount of sightseeing in this amount of time - should I add an extra day? I also love hiking so I wouldn't mind adding a few hours of that in our trip. Can you offer advice on how long in each area - areas to stay overnight and must go to places on the coast and wine country.

Thank You!
chaslor is offline  
Old Jul 24th, 2008, 12:32 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
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It's about a 5 hour drive from SF to Santa Barbara without stopping. That is not an easy route - but if you drive straight down the coast through Big Sur - or spend one night in Big Sur (if the air is ok) then you can enjoy Santa Barbara and drive straight up 101 back to San Francisco. That gives you one full day in the Santa Barbara area, plus probably the following morning before you drive back.

A friend finally bought his own little plane because of the frustration of the drive back and forth.

So: one full day of driving down the coast - then depending on where you sleep you will have the rest of the time to go to wineries.

cabovacation is offline  
Old Jul 24th, 2008, 12:40 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
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I just finished a drive from LA to San Fran and I'm a big fan of taking the Rt.1 trip rather than 101 when possible. Big Sur was closed when I was there due to the fires. You can still see it though and perhaps the road you can take to get closer to it has reopened. Driving Rt.1 is AMAZING. It's probably slightly scarier going south than north but I've never seen such amazing scenery. Rt. 1 also has Hearst Castle. We didn't stop there, I heard you might need tickets depending on the day so that's also something to consider.

If you want to see the Redwoods you'll have to be on Rt.9 when you're passing it, that's the only way to can drive through it. I'd make sure to take Rt.1 at least one way to and from Santa Barbara if you can make it work.
Cahuenga1 is offline  
Old Jul 24th, 2008, 01:20 PM
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I should probably clarify that we'll be flying out of Santa Barbara, so we won't need to drive back up to San Francisco.
chaslor is offline  
Old Jul 24th, 2008, 05:48 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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When you get to Santa Barbara eat at Opal's restaurant, for lunch, on State Street. I might zip up there tomorrow to eat there. It's an hour and a half drive for me. Try the Bouilabaise(SP?). Call and make a reservation. It's always busy. Also don't miss the Shona, stone art gallery,(Spirit in Stone-717 State Street) next door to Macy's on State Street....amazing pieces...friends and I have a mini gallery collection of small pieces. We zip up there just to go to that gallery and eat at Opal's.

Just park in the Macy's lot and walk State Street. Have fun. Santa Barbara is great. I used to live an hour north of there when I was a child...back in the 60s... before we moved to Pasadena over 40 years ago...another great place.Smiles. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2008, 12:28 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 695
"It's about a 5 hour drive from SF to Santa Barbara without stopping."

It's 325 miles from SF to SB via US 101. Good luck doing it in 5 hours. Maybe if no one else is on the road.

If you take CA 1 along the coast, it will take a lot longer. Three days is the minimum to see the sights. There are dozens of state parks which all offer hiking trails and things to see (such as Hearst Castle). Get a good guide book and map and/or search this forum for tips - there's tons of them here.

You could easily spend three days just seeing the Monterey Peninsula. A week would not be enough time to fully explore the coast between SF and SB.

The end of September should be a good time. Let's hope no more fires will darken the skies.
Supercilious is offline  
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